Sanders defends his big-spending plans as Democratic debate begins
By James Oliphant MIAMI (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders defended his big-spending plans for government-operated healthcare during the early stages of a debate on Thursday, but acknowledged some Americans would pay more taxes to implement it. On the second night of back-to-back Democratic debates, Sanders said his Medicare-for-All healthcare plan would be fully paid for and reduce premiums for many but that some in the middle class might pay more. 'Yes, they will pay more in taxes but less in healthcare for what they get,' Sanders said as the debate in Miami got started.
By James Oliphant
MIAMI (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders defended his big-spending plans for government-operated healthcare during the early stages of a debate on Thursday, but acknowledged some Americans would pay more taxes to implement it.
On the second night of back-to-back Democratic debates, Sanders said his Medicare-for-All healthcare plan would be fully paid for and reduce premiums for many but that some in the middle class might pay more.
"Yes, they will pay more in taxes but less in healthcare for what they get," Sanders said as the debate in Miami got started.
Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said he would repeal Republican President Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy.
"Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation, we do have horrible income inequality," Biden said. "I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy."
Biden, the former vice president who is making his third White House bid, and Sanders, a U.S. senator who failed in his first bid in 2016, were at center stage in Thursday's debate.
Biden has enjoyed a healthy lead in opinion polls since he entered the Democratic race to pick a challenger to Trump in the November 2020 election.
Sanders has been running second in most polls but has seen his support slipping in recent weeks, with some of his supporters switching to fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren.
The two top contenders shared the stage with eight other Democrats, including two other top-tier candidates: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California.
The debate also included U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell, self-help guru Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. All six are polling nationally around 1% or less.
In a surprisingly heated first debate on Wednesday night, 10 Democratic contenders including Warren clashed over healthcare and border policy but agreed there was a desperate need to remove Trump from the White House.
(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.